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08-07-2013, 09:01 PM
tsujimoto74's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Rochester
Country: United States
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Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
Honestly, it's hard to say.

Jame's right in that his 2007 40 goal season is a number-skewing outlier, but his 40 in 2009 came getting 17 minutes a night and playing with Derek Roy, and his TOI figures and linemate quality (especially before Pominville) are among the lowest on any list of first line forwards. His typical role on the PP is also highly dependent on the players around him compared to most goal scorers, but he usually creates a minimum of 5 goals a season he doesn't get credit for due to screens that don't touch him, or being collapsed on (because he's Thomas Vanek in front of the net and that's where the puck just went) while the rebound goes to the second man. These roles make it difficult to pinpoint an objective ranking for the guy. He's definitely a very good to great goal scorer and a virtual lock for 60 points regardless of linemates, and plays adequate defense for a first line scoring forward (especially coming back through the neutral zone), but he's also four years removed from potting 40, and two years removed from his best/longest offensive season, with three of his last four (and 4/5) derailed to various degrees by injuries.

I wish I could see a parallel universe where Vanek was drafted by any team that would give it's only top 5 pick in a decade the keys to the bus before halfway through his sixth season.

If I had to pick, it's borderline top 10 definite top 20, with the possibility to be top 5 with the right PP scheme or linemates.
I'll second that. Wonder what his career would look like if he had the quality and quantity of ice time and quality of linemates that many of the league's other star scorers seem to.

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